Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On the Road to Meaningful Use

The June 28, 2011 Healthcare IT News article, "Mostashari to providers: MU is not about 'hoop jumping'", reports on the speech given by Farzad Mostashari, MD, the National Coordinator for Health IT, at the National Health IT and Delivery System Transformation Summit in Washington, DC. Dr. Mostashari made an "eloquent and persuasive case for how meaningful use is not just an arbitrary set of requirements the government is asking of providers in exchange for incentives". He said: “Look at meaningful use not as a distraction or a bureaucratic list of hoops to jump through. Meaningful use is the best-we-could-make-it roadmap to prepare for delivery of higher quality care and mitigating some of the costs toward getting there,” he said. “If its a distraction we need to change it and I want to hear from you personally.” Dr. Mostashari explained how “the sum total of meaningful use is to provide what is needed to make sure fewer people die prematurely for things that could have been prevented.

The HITECH Act established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to Eligible Professionals (EPs) as they demonstrate adoption, implementation, upgrading or meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The programs began in 2011. These incentive programs are designed to support providers in this period of health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help the United States to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care.

For more detailed information on EHR Incentives & Certification see the following on the HealthIT.gov web site:
To learn how to get started click here. The HealthIT.gov web site outlines the following steps:

The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs is: www.cms.gov/ehrincentiveprograms.

The Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System is at: https://ehrincentives.cms.gov/hitech/login.action.

The Certified Ambulatory Product List is at: http://onc-chpl.force.com/ehrcert/EHRProductSearch?setting=Ambulatory.

The "Meaningful Use OneSource" web site, powered by HIMSS, is at: www.himss.org/ASP/topics_meaningfuluse.asp.

If you have not already started, now is the time for you to begin your journey of becoming a meaningful user of EHRs. If you have already started on this all-important journey, persistence and patience will be your biggest allies for achieving success.

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